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Sitthiporn Kritdakorn (สิทธิพรกฤดากร)

Thai. Name of a Siamese prince of the Rattanakosin and Bangkok eras, with the title of momchao and nicknamed the Father of Modern Thai Agriculture. Sitthiporn was born on 11 April 1883 as the son of Prince Naret Worarit (fig.), a son of King Mongkut (fig.). In his youth he was sent to England to study mechanical engineering, though was summoned back home and in 1901 became a public servant at the Royal Treasury Ministry, where he served as Director General of the Royal Mint. He married at age 21 and −due to his wife's fragile health and requirement of fresh air− often stayed in the countryside, where he developed a profound interest in agriculture. In 1921, he left the civil service and moved to Prachuap Khirikhan in order to devout his further career to agriculture. He successfully propagated a variety of corn and he became instrumental in establishing a research center for rice production and in guiding Thailand to become an egg exporting nation. For his contributions to the development of modern agriculture, he was awarded a honorary doctorate by the Kasetsart University and received the 1967 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, which is considered the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. Besides this, he was a forward player in the first national football team of Thailand, which was established in 1915 as the Siam National Football Team. Sitthiporn Kritdakorn died on 22 June 1971, aged 88. His name is also transliterated Sithiporn Kridakara. See also POSTAGE STAMP.